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Online counselling offers individuals the same level of support and confidentiality as that of meeting face to face with a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist, but in addition can also offer suitable solutions to some of the difficulties associated with receiving treatment in a traditional therapeutic setting:
- Convenience – These services mean that you are able to receive support from the comfort of your own home, or wherever it is that you are – a hugely beneficial aspect for the following individuals in particular:
- Housebound and/or disabled individuals.
- Carers who are unable to take a break from their responsibilities even for a short time.
- Parents who can’t afford childcare.
- Employee’s who travel frequently or are too busy to commit to regular face to face appointments.
- People living in remote areas who are far from a therapist’s office.
- Hearing impaired – instant chat and email counselling mean that an interpreter will not be required.
- Flexibility – A reduced crossover period between clients in combination with a series of additional factors often mean that these services can be offered at more flexible times than face to face counselling.
An increasingly popular option for those who can’t make face-to-face counselling sessions is Skype counselling. Skype is a computer program that enables you to video chat in real time with other people over the Internet. The software itself is free and is easy to download. If your computer doesn’t have a webcam or microphone, you will have to purchase these too, however they are relatively inexpensive.
The beauty of Skype is that you are able to physically see your counsellor, a factor that people often miss during email or telephone counselling. Just like these other methods however, Skype counselling allows you to attend a session from the comfort of your own home and you can talk to a counsellor from anywhere in the world.
How does Skype counselling work?
Usually you will contact a counsellor via email or telephone in the first instance to arrange an initial consultation. Together you will plan a suitable time for you to “meet” and discuss what you are seeking help with.
Before your first session you may want to ensure you are alone and won’t be disturbed. It is also a good idea to make yourself comfortable and check you have good Internet connection before you start.
During your initial consultation you can check that the technology is working correctly and that you feel comfortable receiving counselling in this way. This is also your opportunity to get to know your counsellor and ensure that you are happy with their style of working.
In terms of payment, you will be required to pay via bank deposit payment before the session.